Enterprise Research Software: Evaluating Your True Cost of Ownership

April Schultz
June 4th, 2019

In today’s clinical landscape, most research institutions recognize the benefits of adopting software solutions to manage and facilitate more efficient clinical trials. At the enterprise-level, clinical trial management systems, such as Forte’s OnCore Enterprise Research, can reduce administrative burden and streamline workflows to increase efficiencies across the clinical trial process. However, like all tools, software solutions require adequate maintenance and care to ensure top performance.

For most institutions, the two most common options for secure and effective software management are to either host the software on-premises or to have a third-party vendor host it. The decision between on-premises or vendor-managed infrastructure is a necessary consideration to ensure your software is adequately maintained, supported, upgraded and secured. However, effectively maintaining enterprise-level software can expend a large amount time and resources, requiring a significant investment from multiple teams across an organization. Here are three key reasons why vendor-provided hosting and infrastructure could be a more sustainable solution for your clinical research software

1. Reduce cost of ownership

The cost and effort associated with maintaining enterprise-level software is prohibitive for many research institutions. Upfront costs extend beyond just the hardware and licenses to include hardware deployment, process development, disaster recovery planning and much more.

Having a vendor host your software can reduce your overall cost of ownership by removing any large capital expenses with an annual hosting fee. A vendor-managed infrastructure also eliminates unforeseen maintenance costs and minimizes the financial burden for ongoing software support.

2. Save valuable resources

When maintaining your own software on-premises, your technical teams are required to juggle the numerous tasks associated with implementation, support and maintenance of the system. The sheer quantity of systems, database, networking and security responsibilities required to manage an enterprise-level system can put a considerable strain on your staff resources.

Vendor hosting means your teams no longer have to deploy and maintain the software, reducing the impact on your technical resources. You’ll also no longer need to manage third-party licenses and support contracts. With large enterprise-level systems, this approach ensures your operational strategy is dictated by institutional goals, not by system or resource limitations. 

3. Get the support you need

At a large institution, IT teams are often responsible for supporting hundreds of systems institution-wide. With so many products to oversee, they must prioritize where they spend their time and energy. That often means systems related to patient care are addressed before those related to research. This prioritization can ultimately lead to delays in study timelines as well as considerable staff frustration.

Vendor hosting provides a central source for all support needs, from application to infrastructure. Many times, you receive answers to your inquiries from the individuals who build and manage your system software, leading to quality results and quicker time to resolution.

Focus on research, not infrastructure

When deciding whether or not to have a vendor host your software, it’s important to consider all factors associated with the cost of hosting a system at your organization. Beyond financial savings, a vendor-managed product infrastructure can save your institution time, resources and the hassle of potential delays in study timelines. Without the distraction of software maintenance, your team is able to put more effort into minimizing bottlenecks, improving your research operations and conducting effective clinical trials.

Learn more

Download the Forte Managed Infrastructure overview to learn how we can help you realize a quicker return on investment in your research software.